For December, I have a discussion with one of my recent graduates. At Marlboro, every students does fairly extensive research and prepares a collection of materials in a senior portfolio referred to as a “Plan.” Elliot Samuel-Lamb did his work on brewing and beer and together we researched the character, flavor, and brewing practices of England in the Early Modern period (we looked some at the late medieval period, also, but focused on the 17th-19th centuries.) In the podcast, we talk about some of our findings that the English continued to like beer sweet long after continental brewers (particularly in Germany and the Netherlands) had introduced hops and begun to switch to a more bitter beverage. English brewers all the way to the 19th century continue to sometimes caution against the inclusion of too much hops specifically so as to not overly bitter their brew. Elliot continues to brew beer and be interested in all things brewing, making beer from locally grown ingredients and reading about beer’s quirky history.
The dish for this podcast is probably obvious…a beer is clearly in order. There are tons of either large barley-wines or even some commercial examples of Gruit. I won’t purport to influence anyone’s taste, so pick your own (hopped heavy or hopped light as you prefer) and sit down for a drink – ok, if you’re curious, I kind of like Froach’s Heather Ale, but there are lots of good beers out there. Obviously this precludes most podcast listening while driving…sorry about that.
This will be the first of two months of discussions about student projects, so stay tuned for next month’s discussion of women’s education in Victorian England.
For the bibliography mentioned in the podcast, here’s the list:
Bennett, Judith. Ale, Beer, and Brewsters: Women’s Work in a Changing World.
Unger, Richard. A History of Brewing in Holland, 900-1900. Brill publishing, 2001.
——. Beer in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. U of Penn Press, 2007.